Tom Gouws – vertaling in Engels

Tom Gouws – vertaal deur/translated by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt


Tom Gouws

Tom Gouws

 Tom Gouws is a mathematician, literary critic, education specialist, writer, prize-winning playwright (Nag van die lang messe) and poet (Diaspora, Troglodiet, Syspoor and Ligloop). He teaches at the University of North-West’s Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle campuses and the University of Pretoria. He has served as the acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the North-West and as Chancellor of the Graduate Academy of Southern Africa. Currently, he heads ElijahAfrica, an international ministry network. He is married to Retha and they have six children. They live on a small farm outside Pretoria.



martinus versfeld


   identify yourself with your bean soup and you will see God


on the open flames of delight

your simmering pots still

murmur. the bacon and shallots

drawn to each other fragrantly, together


diced and singing a soft intimate song of braise.

the soaked ladybird beans

shake off their softening husks

and give themselves over unabashed


to the mystical inner fire.

parsnip and celery speak scandalously

in foreign tongues. potatoes break up blissfully

amid the crown of bay leaves.


for no more than a trifle, that is to say for nothing,

you receive the recipe to relish God.


(From: Syspoor. Human & Rousseau (2002)

(Tr. by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt)


dearly beloved, I send you an electronic dove



dearly beloved, I send you an electronic dove.


through the membrane of my thick skull

a tiny message pecks timidly.

from the soft-shelled egg I pull blood-soaked inner feathers

and a broken ring, relics of loss.

I shift memory’s page-turning button,

then find imagination’s quill

stored well away in a cache memory.


I let my fingers swoop over the keyboard,

stroking the keys of the computer lovingly

until it pulses just like a murmuring heart.

then words tumble a racing dove on the screen,

flapping frantically until he breaks through the bulwark’s jam,

fragmenting in the veiled screens of virtual reality –

cyber navigator without a domain address.


no hacker dares shoot a bird from my avatar.


look, my bird swoops on electronic winds;

he roams unswervingly on the world wide web –

millions upon millions of birds with new texts.

the twitter of the other winged ones is no bother;

where he flies, the force-field contours of light sing:

you must know of my love

like wings we cannot fly with.


in the firewall of your black box

– somewhere at the cyber café of lost courage –

you capture my words in a snare.


(From: Ligloop. Human & Rousseau (2010)

(Tr. by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt)



treading lightly


a patriot of God is schooled selectively

in the kabbalistic secrecy of treading lightly.

you are versed in every sign and symbol,

see how everything merges cosmically in the Fish.



the ones summoned earlier had to wander the deserts,

but like enoch we learn how to walk between stars.

on the trapeze of faith the sole of your foot

prepares the overgrown path of redemption.


inexplicably you are freed from gravity,

even though you drag yourself across weary kalahari sand.

despite earth’s demands, you zig-zag about

in God’s innermost depths.


how then will people’s jibes or scorn

inhibit me from losing myself in God?


(From: Ligloop. Human & Rousseau (2010)

(Tr. by Tony & Gisela Ullyatt)


Tony Ullyatt was born in Nottingham, and educated in India, Sudan, and Kenya before coming to do an undergraduate degree in English and French in Durban, South Africa. After finishing a Master’s degree in English at the University of Auckland, he wrote a PhD on American poetry at Unisa. He has further Master’s degrees in Psychology, Myth Studies, and Applied Language Studies. He also has a PhD in Myth Studies. He has won prizes for his radio drama and poetry as well as the FNB/Vita Award for Translation. He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of the North-West’s Potchefstroom campus.

Gisela Ullyatt was born in Bloemfontein, where she studied at the University of the Free State. After completing an Honours degree and a Master’s degree in German, she finished a Master’s degree in English (Applied Language Studies) as well as a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Her poetry has appeared in journals both locally and internationally, and she is a prize-winning short-story writer. Through the University of the North-West, she is currently working on a PhD which undertakes a Buddhist reading of Mary Oliver’s poetry.

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6 Kommentare op “Tom Gouws – vertaling in Engels”

  1. Thomas Deacon :

    Ek sal graag weer met Tom in aanraking wil kom aangesien ek kontak met hom verloor het. Ek is self ‘n Afrikaanse digter en skrywer. Tom het my erste digbundel “Sand uit die son” geresenseer. Daarna het nog twee bundels verskyn: Die predikasies van Jacob Oerson en Maagmeisie. Ook ‘n roman, Rooigrond en twee kortverhaalbundels: Anderkant die troe-troe en Deushant die Groot Gariep

  2. tom gouws :

    Thomas, dis baie aangenaam om weer van jou te hoor! My eposadres is:
    Groete, Tom

  3. Beste Tom, ek wil sommer net “hallo” se. Ek was in jou honneursklas op UP, baie jare gelede. Het juis weer vanoggend gekyk na bundels van Johann de Lange wat jy nog met ons behandel het, en die herinneringe is so goed!

  4. tom gouws :

    Hallo Amanda, ek onthou jou goed. Ja dit was opwindende tye!Gr8 om van my oudstudente te hoor :-)Beste wense, T

  5. Amanda Lourens :

    Dankie Tom, sal mekaar weer hier raakloop. Lekker werk!

  6. koos v zyl :

    Hi daar Tom

    Ek sukkel met die boodskap oor tithing.
    Die meeste kerk preek Mal 3:9 ens.
    Die Here et onderandere 2Kor 9 :6+7 aan my gegee,maar dieheletyd moet ek hoor ons steel God se geld as ons nie ons volle 10de betaal nie.
    Help asseblief